Today, at the pool party we attended, the hosts dumped a box of characterized rubber ducks in the pool for the children to have. There were plenty for everyone, and some children left the pool with as many as ten each. We were not swimming today, it was too hot, and so my eldest went to get some ducks for all three of my children. She came back with two at first, one for her and one for the youngest. I told her to go back for one more for the absent Scout brother, and if there were enough they could have two each. She came back with a total of five. Two for each of her brothers, and one for her, she told me. This was the least amount that any of the children had taken, so I inquired as to how she wanted to divide the ducks. We went into the cooled comfort of the house. She then told me to “hang on,” and went into her room. Upon returning, she said, “I didn’t need any of those other ducks because I have…” she held up her hand, “this!” Sitting in her hand was a blue ninja-suited rubber duck! “I took one who sings, and I have the totally cool ninja duck! I’m good! My brothers can have those.” She grabbed pirates, a blue Hawaiian-shirted duck, and a superhero.
I stopped to realize that, unlike the other kids scrambling for first pick, my daughter not only thought of her brothers first, but acted with manners and grace. Seemingly untouched by the need for quantity over quality, she chose in deliberation and minimalism. She has things that she wants, of course, but she works on earning money to get them and does not expect us to get them for her. And she is patient… soooo patient. It once took me five years to get her the promised Disneyland vacation that she wanted, but she never told me I lied. She just kept hoping for it, saved every dime she had, and even told me once, “If I had a lot of money, I would pay for all of you to go with me.” May her heart remain that way forever, and bless her life and the lives of others.